The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a report Tuesday, March 5, providing an updated assessment about a recall of toxic cosmetic products containing asbestos sold by Claire’s and Justice retailers in late 2017.
FDA officials became aware of the problem when Justice Stores, LLC recalled eight cosmetic products in Sept. 2017, and when Claire’s Stores Inc. withdrew eight of their cosmetic products from shelves in Dec. 2017, according to the report’s update on the FDA’s 2017 findings.
Cosmetics are sold daily across the U.S. and are often used on some of the skin’s most sensitive areas. They are routinely monitored by the FDA to keep unsafe cosmetics away from consumers, according to the report, but under the current regulatory framework there is no legal requirement for cosmetic manufacturers in the U.S. to test their products.
“Because the 2017 testing was done by third-party laboratories, the agency believed it was important to scientifically confirm that these reports are accurate,” said the FDA’s report.
The agency’s report confirmed the presence of asbestos in product samples collected from both Claire’s and Justice retailers. All possibly toxic Justice products were recalled by the company in 2017, but the FDA was forced to issue a safety alert warning about three asbestos containing products from Claire’s that could possibly still be in the hands of consumers: eye shadow, compact powder and contour.
“Claire’s has informed us that it does not believe that affected products are still available for sale,” said the FDA’s safety alert.
Claire’s has refused to comply with the FDA’s request to recall these products and the agency does not have authority to mandate them to comply, according to the report.
“The FDA is therefore warning consumers not to use these products and will continue to communicate our safety concerns,” said the report.
These findings from the FDA serve as a reminder about the limited authority they have over ensuring the safety of cosmetic products coming onto the market. Ultimately, the FDA is dependent on manufacturers to take the necessary action to ensure the safety of their products.
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